2,400 SIA staff affected by job cuts amid Covid-19 fallout

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group is cutting jobs amid the Covid-19 fallout.

Staff were told of this during a virtual townhall on Thursday (Sept 10).

The airline said in a statement: “The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group today announced the difficult decision to cut around 4,300 positions across its airlines. After taking into account a recruitment freeze, natural attrition and the take-up of voluntary departure schemes, the potential number of staff impacted will be reduced to about 2,400 in Singapore and in overseas stations.

“This decision was taken in light of the long road to recovery for the global airline industry due to the debilitating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the urgent need for the group’s airlines to adapt to an uncertain future.”

The layoffs had been widely anticipated and come as international travel continues to be paralysed, with governments enforcing strict border controls to contain the pandemic.

While there has been some reopening in recent weeks for essential business and official travel between Singapore and selected countries, including China, the passenger and flight numbers are a tiny fraction of pre-pandemic days.

The International Air Transport Association has said that passenger demand for air travel is not expected to return to pre-crisis levels until 2024.


Singapore Airlines crew arriving at Changi Airport in June. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

In July, SIA had reported a $1.12 billion net loss in the quarter ended June 30 – its largest quarterly loss on record, as demand plummeted amid travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenue for the group plunged 79.3 per cent to $851 million year on year, while expenditure dropped 51.6 per cent to $1.89 billion, the company said then.

Passenger carriage fell across SIA, SilkAir and Scoot, resulting in a 99.5 per cent decline for the company.

At the height of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003 – which was less devastating than the current pandemic – SIA retrenched several hundred staff, including pilots and cabin crew.

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